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Case report

Skin lesions in an

adult Asian elephant

Place: Dak Lak elephant Conservation Center Vietnam

Date: 2018


Data provided by: Van Thinh Pham, DVM, Susan Mikota, DVM and Willem Schaftenaar, DVM


Adult female Asian elephant, chained on  its hind leg for >10 days while deprived of food and water for prolonged periods.

This had resulted in a large deep wound on the left hind leg and a smaller wound on the right hind leg. The wound on the left hind leg involved damage to the underlying ligaments, expressed in a lateral deviation of the leg distal to the tarsus and overstretching of the tarsal joint. The wounds were extremely dirty and covered by necro-purulent materials.


The elephant was sedated using xylazine (0.08 mg/kg IM)

The wounds were debrided using scalpel blades, scissors and cotton gauze.

For several weeks the wounds were flushed BID with clean water, sprayed with Betadine solution. After each treatment, honey was applied on the wound using a soft brush.

The largest wound after flushing with water, spraying with Betadine and application of honey.

Treatment results

In the course of 8 months the wounds healed completely. The lateral deviation of the distal part of the left hind leg remained and caused moderate instability of the tarsal joint.

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